Below is a press release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith:
SMART Energy Act Would Require Restart of Offshore, Onshore Energy Lease Sales
U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) is a primary cosponsor of legislation that would prod the Biden administration to take action to restart oil and gas leasing immediately, while also stepping up wind, solar, and geothermal energy development.
The Supporting Made in America Renewable and Traditional (SMART) Energy Act (S.3214) was introduced Tuesday in response to rising energy prices and the administration’s active efforts to stifle or stop oil and gas production on federal lands and waters.
“The higher energy prices Americans are paying are a direct result of the Biden administration’s bad energy and economic policies,” Hyde-Smith said. “The SMART Energy Act would set implement a plan to ensure that we’re actively tapping American energy supplies, including wind and solar, to fuel our economy and stop inflated energy prices from draining family budgets.”
For Mississippi, the SMART Energy Act would require the Department of the Interior to conduct two region-wide offshore oil and gas lease sales in each of the Central Gulf and Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Areas. The bill also mandates the development and approval of a new oil and gas leasing program before a previous program closes.
Introduced by Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), S.3214 also requires similar lease sales on federal lands. It also supports the expansion of wind, solar, and geothermal energy by requiring the development of renewable energy priority areas on federal lands, in addition to activating offshore wind energy leases.
Lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf are currently required by law under the 2017-2022 five-year program. The administration is under a U.S. District Court order to resume lease sales, stopping the new lease sale moratorium President Biden imposed on his first day in office.
On Tuesday, Hyde-Smith received testimony at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing that continued inaction by the Biden administration to conduct in offshore lease sales for oil and gas production would lead to greater reliance on foreign sources for those necessary energy supplies.
A section-by-section summary of S.3214 is available here.